The Bodega Elena de Mendoza Chardonnay is a perfect example of everything that is right about buying wine at Trader Joe’s. It is a wine that is constantly second or third place. In 2009 alone, it won five bronze and three silver medals in international wine competitions. If it had been just slightly better and received gold, you’d be paying $10 for this wine. Instead you get the runner up and only have to shell out $3.
As an Argentinian Chardonnay, the Bodega Elena de Mendoza does not have all the butter and oak we’ve come to associate with comparably cheap California Chardonnay. Instead, it is surprising fruit-centric. There is a lot of apple and pear with hints of other tropical fruits as well. On the finish, the fruit fades and is replaced by notes that are more crisp and savory.
Is the Bodega Elena de Mendoza Chardonnay the best Chardonnay I have ever had? No, it is not. However, it might just be the best $3 Chardonnay I have ever had! If you’re looking for a bottle of wine that will cost you less than a single Miller Lite at the bar, give this one a try!